On Monday February 18, 2013, long-time Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss passed away from an undisclosed form of cancer. Throughout his time as owner of the Lakers, he was always able to bring the best players in the NBA together to form some of the best teams in NBA history. From the development of the “Showtime Lakers” through the current Lakers squad, Buss won 10 championship rings in 16 tries in a matter of only 30 years. Although his career of winning will always be remembered, his impact on the game outside of his number of rings is what truly made Buss a game-changer for the NBA.
NBA commissioner David Stern said of Buss “The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come”.
Buss is often credited as the man who changed the game forever by being one of the first to realize that professional basketball had a place in the everyday life of the average American. He felt it was his job to connect the community to his team by making the game simply fun. He brought the best talent he could to his town, added cheerleaders to time-out festivities and made the game something that people wanted to pay attention to.
Buss was a visionary, a renaissance man and someone that should serve as a model to us all. He was a man that always did the right thing and was able to make a very successful career out of doing something he loved.
The NBA, and the world lost a great man this week, his legacy will certainly remain for many years to come and his blueprint for success is something that should be modeled by all.